Reliable backups of your data and systems are critical to you staying in business.

Sound a little strong? Consider: Even if you can reconstruct all your data and systems from other sources, how long will that take, and how will rebuilding from scratch like that affect your bottom line?

It’s almost a given that Something Bad is going to happen to your computer. It’ll get whacked by a power surge in a lightening storm. It’ll get infected with the digital plague. One of your employees will download something they shouldn’t.

When that happens, you’ll want to be able to rely on your backups.

What makes a backup good?

A good backup system shares these traits

  • Automatic – Face it, if you have to go *do* something extra to make backups happen, they’re probably not going to happen. You have enough to do with the regular operation of your business; you don’t need another thing.
  • Reliable – Backups need to happen in a robust, predictable way. You also need to get confirmation that “Yup! Everything’s good here. Carry on!”
  • On AND off-site – For little “whoopsies,” you want on-site backups for fast restores. For major disasters, though, you need a copy of your data stored in a secure digital vault somewhere else.
  • Tested restores – Just having backups of your data isn’t enough. You also have to be able to restore your data when you need it. You have to test this system regularly to make sure that you can get your data back out.
  • Easy – While there are a fair number of moving parts here, the overall backup system needs to be easy. If it’s hard, it’s not going to happen.

Secret backup sauce

Here’s how to backup your digital data the North Star way:

  1. Get an external USB drive (this is a good one). Dedicate it to backups; nothing else. Make sure it’s about three times as big as the amount of data you’re going to backup.
  2. Get a CrashPlan subscription, and install the app on your computer. You can just take all the defaults unless you know you want something different.
  3. Tell the CrashPlan app to backup to both the USB drive and the CrashPlan cloud.
  4. Sit back and wait. Backups are a slow process.

About backup speed

Depending on how much data you have, it’s going to take a while for the first backup to finish. The USB backup will be done in a day; maybe two. The cloud backup, though, could take a couple weeks, depending on your Internet connection speed. Don’t worry; that’s completely normal.

Also, that’s just for the initial backup when CrashPlan is working through all your data. After that first big push, CrashPlan will be running in the background on your computer, immediately backing up all the changes you make to your data. If you dump a passle of photos or videos onto your hard drive (like clearing off your phone, for example), it might take until the next morning for CrashPlan to catch up, but that’s pretty good!

About restore speed

Getting data from your USB drive will happen within just a few seconds, of course. Restoring from the CrashPlan cloud is completely dependent on your Internet connection speed and the amount of data you’re restoring.

If you have fiber to your house and you’re just restoring a couple gigabytes of stuff, you’ll be done in a half-hour. If you’re rebuilding your entire computer from scratch and your ISP relies on carrier pigeon for your connection… it’s gonna be a while.

Want a little help?

Want to off-load this process so you can focus on other parts of your business? Contact us, and we’ll make it “just work.”